My job involves finding new venues with a “wow” factor for company events such as car and product launches, dealer meetings, press conferences and incentive trips.
I am a firm believer in doing a lot of research myself at the initial stage using the internet. If I am interested in a venue where I can’t just call in and check out the facilities, I would outsource this to a local conference organisation in order to get the information I need.
However, I find meeting events professionals face-to-face is still the best way to learn. I find attending business events shows helps a great deal in generating new ideas for future events. This is why I try to attend at least one trade show every year to keep myself informed and updated of what’s new out there.
Trade shows offer so many networking opportunities to meet and connect with experts in the hospitality industry. Each time, I return to the office armed with new business contacts and it beats having to do all the research for information on the internet.
These trade shows give me the flexibility to meet face to face and talk to new suppliers, and, at the same time, re-establish old business relationships all under one roof.
I tend to listen and pay attention to details that come up in conversation with various people. I tend to pick up a lot of intel that I won’t otherwise get by just trawling through websites.
At one show two years ago, I was very impressed by a hotel sales manager who took me on an inspection of her hotel in Bangkok. She was thorough and came up with lots of good suggestions on the conferencing possibilities. Although I didn’t use her service, I passed her contact details to my husband who owns a medical-tourism business in New Zealand. He now books his clients into this hotel.
Nowadays, technology may be an effective alternative, but face-to-face communication is still vital in doing business. The better I get to know someone to form a trusting relationship with, the higher the likelihood that I would recommend their service.